Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, P., (27th September, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Wednesday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Tob 13:2.4.6-8. (R.v.1);
Saint Vincent de Paul was born to a poor peasant family in Pouy on 24th April, 1581. He was hired as a tutor based on his brilliant performance in his studies. His earnings helped him in the study of theology at the University of Toulose. He was ordained in 1600 and remained in Toulose for a time. In 1605, he was captured and sold into slavery. He escaped after two years and returned to France. While studying in Rome, he was a chaplain to the Count of Goigny and also in charge of distributing money to the deserving poor. He spent his life preaching missions to and providing relief to the poor and also established hospitals for them. Later, he extended his ministry to convicts. He founded the Ladies of Charity, and the Congregation of Priests of the Mission (Vincentians) to help him carry on the ministry. Saint Vincent helped in the reformation of the clergy and the seminary formation. He died in Paris on September 27, 1660. Pope Benedict XIII beatified him on August 13, 1729 and was canonized by Pope Leo XIII on June 16, 1737. He is the patron of charities; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; Madagascar; prisoners; Richmond, Virginia; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory; Vincentian Service Corps; volunteers.
Topic: Call to duty.
In today’s gospel Jesus sent the twelve out with the authority over the unclean spirits. He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money – not even an extra tunic” (Lk 9:3). They should stay in any house where they are welcomed until they leave the place and should shake off the dust on their feet while leaving the place where they are not welcomed. The twelve preached the good news and also cured the diseased.
Considering Jesus’ instruction to the twelve it looks as if God was about to repeat what He did during the Israelites’ journey to the promise land; they spent forty years in the wilderness yet their clothes did not worn out, and their sandals did not worn off their feet; cf. Deut 29:5. He also provided bread, meat, and water for them all through their journey, cf. Ex 15:23-25; 16:4, 10-15, 21, 35; 17:2-6. Otherwise, how could they survive?
In a parallel passage, there is a clue to how Jesus wanted them to survive: labourers deserve their food (Matt 10:10). And in Luke, Jesus sheds more light, “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid.... eat what is set before you” (Lk 10:7,8).
Jesus is telling us in today’s gospel that we all have our respective tasks with regard to the spreading of the gospel. The faithful is to provide for their ministers. If ministers of God leave their work in search of bread, bag, money, tunics and so on surely they will find these but not without inflicting serious injuries to the souls they are to pasture. Simply put, souls will be lost. And dearest ministers of God remember Pauline maxim, “If anyone will not work, let him not eat” (2Thess 3:10). Saint Vincent de Paul discharged his duties very well. We all are emulate him.
Bible Reading: 2Thess 3:6-15.
Thought for today: You have a role in the spreading of the gospel.
Let us pray: Lord, help every one of us to do our parts in your vineyard so that the gospel will continue spread to the ends of the earth – Amen.
Saint Vincent de Paul – Pray for us.
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